Many Bryan-College Station hotels were full late Tuesday as mandatory evacuations for coastal cities ahead of Hurricane Laura pushed closer led many South Texans to seek refuge locally.

“I have been reaching out to hotels all day today, and finding no rooms at this time for Wednesday,” Experience Bryan-College Station President Kindra Fry wrote in an email Tuesday. “There are very few Thursday-Saturday [openings] that I have found, and by now those may be gone as well. I have not heard back from every hotel at this point, but definitely [got] a good sampling.”

According to an AirBnB search for Brazos County, AirBnB hosts were at 25{143106009d8b87d45252e1fd973f0c0835ad3aabba3679e828c3cd83539ae06c} capacity for time blocks beginning with today, as of Tuesday night.

While Hurricane Laura was not forecast as of Tuesday night to directly affect Brazos County, local officials stood ready to help the community and surrounding areas.

“We’re working with the emergency management really on a daily basis right now and getting prepared to respond to the needs of our community and the Brazos Valley, so not necessarily evacuees,” said AJ Renold, executive director of the Heart of Texas chapter of the American Red Cross.

“But if we have flooding scenarios or high winds, roof issues, that kind of stuff, if there are enough people that are affected we will open a shelter. We’ve been preparing for that for a few months now, and what it looks like is that we’ll initially shelter people in hotel rooms, and then if that becomes an issue, we’ll use First Baptist Bryan and A&M Church of Christ,” she continued. “Those are the only two shelter locations that are large enough and willing right now.”

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